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Green homes are here 

Thanks for mentioning green home construction in your recent article about energy independence ("9 ways YOU can achieve energy independence," July 5). As chairperson of the Green Building Council of the Homebuilders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties (HBADOC), I appreciate your efforts to educate consumers about the possibility of making homes more energy efficient, healthier and environmentally responsible.

The article provided a good introduction to green home building, yet it gave an incorrect impression concerning the extent of local programs. The article stated that only three homes in the nation comply with the green homebuilding guidelines of the National Association of Home Builders. Actually, the HBADOC and a number of homebuilder associations across the country have adopted the national guidelines for local conditions.

Our Green Building Council is working in cooperation with the Green Building Initiative, a NAHB-sponsored effort, to implement a local program in accordance with the guidelines. We are on the forefront of GBI's local programs, having been the first such program in the nation to conduct a green home tour. Our recent tour featured 12 different homes by eight local builders, showing that green building principles can be incorporated in houses that fit a broad spectrum of aesthetic tastes.

We are excited that our rapidly growing program features production builders as well as custom builders. The production builders--who construct hundreds of homes per year that appeal to mainstream buyers--have the ability to make a huge, cumulative impact on energy use in our area by constructing Energy Star and GBI homes. Look for more of these homes being featured in our upcoming parade of homes at the end of September.

Triangle-area consumers who are interested in green home features can contact us at 493-8899.

Michele Myers
Chair, Green Building Council
Homebuilders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties

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